How to Create a Stunning Graphic Design Resume

Created by Sue Su

Writing a graphic design resume can be quite a challenge if you're not aware of what it takes. It has to tell your story and show how unique you are. It doesn't have to be filled with fancy graphics or overload the pages with a series of your accolades and portfolio. But it sure needs some pointers on what makes the resume worth looking over.

A statistic reported that most HRD managers spent less than ten seconds reading a resume. To add more to the pressure, for the next ten years, it is projected that there will be a 4% decline in the graphic designing job market. There are roughly 250,000 graphic design jobs, but at least 300,000 graduates are aiming for the job. 

A graphic design resume is a platform for the applicants to show off their talents and highlight their personalities. That is how they direct the client's perception on gauging their capability upon the job. The following will assess several important points to write an enticing and engaging resume that will land you a contract.

 

Key pointers for a proper graphic design resume

Anyone can write a resume, but it doesn't always mean their resumes are the good ones or as expected by the future employer. 

Whenever there's a job offer or a vacancy available, it is best to understand what the company is looking for. Read carefully on what is expected of the client. It is the applicant's job to understand and show how they are the best among others candidates. 

The resume is the equivalent of the first impression in a meeting. A good first impression will secure an interview or perhaps even the job altogether. Therefore, highlighting the right features is of the utmost importance. It is best to have several resumes ready at hand. Each highlights different features that will suit the employer's preferences.

The key is in finding the right balance between words and graphics. A graphic design resume doesn't mean it is void of words and only shows the portfolio. Both are important to showcase your ability and persuade the prospective client to employ you. As a graphic designer, you are expected to be able to translate words into pictures and vice versa. 

Created by Dalila Niespolo

 

1.Having an upbeat cover letter

A graphic design resume needs an accompanying cover letter. The tone of this letter has to stay professional, but don't hesitate to show your personality. It has to be courteous yet also upbeat and positive. A stellar resume will barely hold any chance when it has no cover letter to introduce the applicant.

The cover letter describes the why and how of your professional presentation, while the resume supports it with an explanation of when, where, and who you are. The letter mentions why you are interested in the job and how you can contribute to the company. 

The right combination of letter and resume will help the director to picture you as a professional. When you give off a positive first impression, your resume is more likely to garner a thorough reading instead of a glance.

Created by Suzane Mahfouz

 

2. Know what the company needs

Most people are not aware of the language in the job offer. The company often specifically stated that they are looking for people with specific skill sets. But since the manager or the director might have seen so many resumes, yours has to be attractive enough to warrant a proper read and secure an interview. 

Always do a little research on the companies where you are applying at. Understanding the future client's working habits and values will give you an advantage in choosing which skill sets to highlight on your resume. Each company has its approach and requirements for its future employee. This is what you should emphasize when writing your resume. 

One way to impress an HRD manager is by making your graphic design resume look like it's tailored specifically for the company. Showing early appreciation of the company is often what makes an applicant stood out among the rest. 

Created by Sz 81

 

3. Introducing yourself in the best way possible

As mentioned before, most managers or directors only glance at the resume for ten seconds at the longest. This is your only chance to make the right first impression on the company. Do not fill the page with a massive wall of text.

The resume is your life history in compressed form. It has contact information, education history, and working experiences. It sounds basic, but it has to be charming. It doesn't matter if you have worked at a prestigious place and come with a series of accolades if the resume is only a slab of text without any pointers.  

Readability is key. The resume has to be easy to read and well-informed at the same time. The company representative might have seen hundreds or even thousands of resumes before yours reach their desk. It is not difficult to make the resume look appealing. Here are several important things that must appear in a resume. 

Apply the lessons mentioned on these tips to make the resume uniquely personal and exploit all of your best features. You will receive a call sooner than you thought.

Created by XXXXXX

 

4. Always update the important information

Here is the thing, you can have several phone numbers and email addresses. All used for work, but you can only put one in your graphic design resume. This is to simplify the communication method. Nobody enjoys guessing which way is the best way to contact an applicant. Surely that is not a good impression to leave upon a future employer. 

Whenever you change your phone number or email, that's when you have to update your resume. The same goes for when you keep a separate mailing address. Do not sabotage yourself from a great working opportunity by making a small mistake like not updating your contact information.

Your email address also has to sound professional. It is best to have your full name or a portmanteau of your name as the email address. If you have a personal website for your portfolio, it is best to use the email that comes with the domain as your primary mail address.

The same goes for your Instagram, Twitter, and other social media handler. Keep them unique but also professional to show your dedication to the business. Don't use any compromising words that can cause problems in the future.

Created by Olia Meeting

 

5. Include your working experience

Working experience is often preferred, and sometimes the most important requirement is mentioned in a job vacancy. After all, any level of working experience shows one's ability to adapt to a new situation and how one could work on it. An expansive work experience is always appreciated.

In case you have no formal working experience, you can still use your past works as the portfolio in the resume. Nowadays, it is generally acceptable to include works at creative or freelancing websites such as deviantart.com and freelancers.com. 

There are also some websites and forums that held regular contests that you can join to add to your portfolio. These small works may not seem much, but they add to your experience in dealing with actual and prospective clients in the industry. Participating in contests also expands one's knowledge and connection. 

On writing the work experience, do not forget to include the responsibilities with emphasis on the skills and accolades you have learned during the period. Put on details like the month and year of the project as well as a short detail on your contribution. 

There is no limit on how much past work you have to include. But you can have a limit and only write up to the past ten years. Don't forget to write it in reverse chronological order. That is, the most recent at the top and going down to other places you have been working at.

Created by Elizabeth Nelson

 

6. Show off your expansive skills

Both hard and soft working skill needs to be addressed but without being too much. Don't elaborate too much on the details. Mention the tools you can use and the following skillsets.

Be careful with your word choice. The graphic design resume speaks about you first and foremost as the portfolio works as both highlight and testaments of your ability. 

Use active words that are more likely to attract attention. For example, communicative, have collaborated with, spearheading, and crafted. These words imply that you are active in work. It shows that you are active within the team without proclaiming to do so. 

Using active words to explain your skill and tools you have mastered will give the impression that you are knowledgeable and will meet the expectations. You can impress them more by including any certifications as proof of your fluency. 

Always tailor this section to be specific with what the company is looking for at that time. Make sure that you have highlighted the right skills that fit the requirements. These sets are how the HRD manager decides if you can bring something to the company.

Created by Paihee Studio

 

7. Keeping an impressive portfolio

An impressive portfolio is not just about the amount of work. It should showcase your creativity at its best. How your design coherent with the theme and other specific details such as client's requests, and so on.

Your portfolio has to look enticing and make them want to inquire more. Do not treat your portfolio like regular email attachments. A good graphic design resume will make the portfolio even more intriguing and engage the future client in a good way.

Having a website as your online portfolio is a great plus. It shows professionalism and also works as an extension of the resume. The HRD manager will be able to read more about your background and explore your past projects that are excluded from the resume.

If you can't afford to have a website dedicated to your portfolio. You could utilize your social media as one. Keep your Instagram and Twitter feed to look clean and professional. 

The company hardly cares about your follower amount, but they care about how you engage with them and how much personality you have in your online presence. Keep your page clean from online trolls and anything that may cause regret in the latter days. 

There's a difference between having a personality with making your personal opinion public. It is okay to have some friends as your follower and keep casual chit-chat public. But it is better to have a work-only social media account where you upload your works. You want the prospective client to be focused on your works, not your personal life.

There have been many cases of people losing their dream job simply because they weren't aware of how their online presence could impact their employer's image. Do not repeat their mistake.

Created by Crayon Studio

 

8. Highlight your accolades

Any certifications and accolades awarded that relevant to the job are worthy of mention. No award is too small to mention as long as they are relevant to the graphic design resume. Make sure the mention is specific on the award title and year. It is optional to include the link to the award's website or any media. 

There is no exact formula on how the accolades have to be written. But the consensus is to mention it from the most recent first to the oldest. Another option is to mention based on the media exposure. The more well-known an award means that any shortlisted entrance had extra merit and worth the talk in the community. 

If you have been in the industry for a while, then you understand the media's power in bringing the achievements to light. If there are too many accolades to mention, keep it short to the most recent ones. Don't forget to mention the year and whether it's personal or collective work. 

There are many graphic designer conventions and classes that you can attend that later be included in the accolades. The willingness to continue learning is a trait that all creative director is looking for.

Created by Oleksandr Lykhohrai

 

9. Titillating with the right design

The graphic and wording in a graphic design resume both hold equal values. A flashy resume may get picked up, but if it has no substance, it will hold no chance against other resumes. There are many resume templates that you can use as inspiration. 

How your resume look depends on how you want to be seen. It is common for graphic designers to showcase their talent by using their stationery in the resume. Adding a personal touch like making your name as your brand or having your letterhead can be seen as creative. It is a subtle way to introducing your design before they see your whole portfolio.

However, there still should be a limit on how much is too much. Using glitzy fonts on a dark background or use a cursive font for the resume is a definite way to fail. The same goes with using unsavory images or composition and make the resume becomes unreadable and off-putting.

Created by Cailin Giles

Keep the resume professional and easy in the eyes. The color palette used in the stationary can be bright, bold, and colorful. But keep the words printed in regular dark-colored ink. It is acceptable to have some fun with font sizes as long as the overall look still pleasing and intriguing. 

Choose a layout that will fit all the information without squeezing it into one. This is where your composition skill is being tested. It's better when the resume is less cluttered by having a section separator to categorize each piece of information into parts that are easy to read.

Take them on a journey to get to understand you more. Don't jump around from accolades to academic history to working experience. Keeping a coherent theme should not be a problem when you are skilled at what you do. What you can't mention with words should be expressed through the rest of the resume.

Created by Laura Voet

 

Conclusion

To reiterate the previous points, writing a resume requires more than just highlighting the summary of your life on a paper. It needs to show your personality as a professional and the values you can bring to the company.

The resume can be taken as your representation to the public. The amount of work on your portfolio will only get some attention when the resume is worth the attention. It is best to emphasize both your working ethic and accolades before introducing your portfolio. 

The prospective employer is judging you based on how much you tell in the resume, and if it's good enough, they will check the portfolio. The key to impressing the client lies in the first ten seconds since they first see your cover letter and resume. 

Creating a proper graphic design resume is about presenting yourself in the best light. Keep the proper balance between the graphic and wording to be stand out. You are most likely to secure an interview when your resume has followed the points above. A good resume will open a lot of doors for you and take you to many places.

So, which resume design examples above you prefer the most? Let us know your comments by writing in the section below. Have a good day, and cheers!

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